The RHS flower show is opening in Cardiff this Friday and runs till Sunday 19th of April. As part of it Shani Lawerence has created a practical, low maintenance show garden based on the size of a typical urban family garden, transformed into a place full of plants, wildlife and adventure.
The garden has been designed and built to be as low carbon as possible. Oak and Chilean beech tree’s from the CAT sustainably managed woodlands have been cut down and turned into planks in order to build wooden structures within the garden.
The garden aims to reassure people that it is achievable to make sustainable material choices, create a place for nature to flourish, a place for children to play and explore, and a place for adults to relax.
The children’s den made from carbon neutral timber with a sedum roof will be relocated to the CAT adventure playground after the show has finished. A wildlife fence with a number of habitats and a secret door, and an unusual, space-saving wildlife seating area are all among a flowing design of circles and curves.
The planting has been chosen with pollinators and other wildlife in mind, with spring-flowering plants to coincide with the show. However the designer also wants to emphasise that it is beneficial to have year-round flowering plants for wildlife.
The tree’s were cut down by CAT volunteers and logged using traditional methods of horse logging an ecologically sound and environmentally considerate process of managing woodland, CAT runs short courses in horse logging.
Tips for a wildlife friendly garden
- Visit the garden centre or nursery once a month to see what is in flower,
- Get plants that are good for pollinators (it tends to be the plants with simple flowers), then you’ll have plants for pollinators all the year round.
- Get a good book to identify what wildlife you already have.
- Create a source of water in your garden, especially in hot and dry weather.’